July, August, September 2021
Upcoming Announcements
After some months of preparation, we are delighted to bring to you the pilot run of the Bengal-Ladakh project, in collaboration with Achi Association, India. Through this, we seek to engage students in a series of workshops addressing the history, changing landscape, literature, music, language, heritage and food among other aspects of both the regions to understand their shared culture and history, therefore enabling them to build a meaningful future.

Following from Sundar Sarukkai's talk, ‘A Teacher Who Thinks’, held in this last quarter, we are delighted to bring you a series of teacher training workshops facilitated by him on teaching critical thinking in the upcoming months.
Details to follow soon. Keep a look out on our social media profiles. To receive updates, follow us by clicking on the social media icon of your choice.
Dear Reader,
In this newsletter we have for you:
Two new teaching/ learning resources drawing upon the series of teacher training workshops held recently:
  • Beyond the Textbook: An Object-based Pedagogical Classroom Resource
  • Aesthetics of Resistance: Revisiting 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War through Various Art Forms
For those of you who missed or would like to re-visit them, we have put together a quick recap of the events we have hosted so far in this second quarter:
  • On Teaching History: Romila Thapar.
  • A Teacher Who Thinks: Sundar Sarukkai
Along with the latest addition to our website:
  • Aaina by Vrinda Bhatia, Joyeeta De and Sayan Chaudhuri

Finally, we have for you a curated range of excellent resources from across the web on the pedagogy of history to bring creative ways of engaging with the discipline, the role of museums and art galleries therein, and beyond the discipline in responding to the pandemic year by teachers and students alike in our This & That segment.

Launching Two New Resources
Beyond the Textbook:
An Object-based Pedagogical Classroom Resource

The emphasis on material culture has made a significant intervention in reading history, and this has been particularly influential in understanding the history of the everyday [. . .] Museums are possibly the biggest entry point into this study, a house to objects that are tangible remains of the past. Unfortunately, museums for the most part have been hugely underutilized within the education sector in India, in their potential of drawing students into this discipline, of making history a living breathing record of the past.’

This new Resource draws upon the series of digital workshops on object based pedagogy focussed on the teaching of the 1947 Partition facilitated by Medhavi Gandhi, wherein she gives us a glimpse of a selection of objects from the State Museum in Chandigarh; the Partition Museum in Amritsar; and draws from the experiences and works of artists and writers of the time.

How did the shared culture of the time respond to the divisive forces of Partition? Years later, today, how can we use museum objects to think about that period which now seems long lost? What happened to identities then and what happens to our sense of identity now if these histories are read closely? How does one think about cultural flows beyond the borders of nation states? Finally, alternate sources to study our past will open up history to listen to the voices of the people beyond the official meta-narratives which otherwise populate its pages.

This is precisely the attempt we have made through this resource. The range of objects used to engage with Partition here is massive—from Gandhara to Muraqqa-i-Chughtai, Phulkari to pre-Partition and contemporary art, and so much more between and beyond, this resource will certainly give you new avenues of understanding and teaching Partition leading you to ask probing questions about its shared memory!

The four parts of this resource corresponding with the respective sessions are:
  • Gandhara: From where Art and Ideas travelled across the World
  • Pre-Partition India: A Rich, Creative Legacy
  • In Art: 20th century India
  • Your History gets in the way of my Memory

Aesthetics of Resistance:
Revisiting 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War through Art

How does one think about a deeply traumatic past as the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, which shares close linkages with the history and culture of India? Moving beyond the larger political narrative and focussing instead on the voices of the people in shaping and sustaining this struggle, we bring you a new resource based out of the workshop series conducted by experienced teachers, Sunita Biswas (Kolkata, India) and Shafia Afroz (Dhaka, Bangladesh) drawing from the arts-based research on the 1971 Liberation War by Sushrita Acharjee for History for Peace.

Using paintings, photography, songs and collectible ephemera, the 'Aesthetics of Resistance' research papers offer an exciting range of possibilities for teachers addressing the Bangladesh Liberation War in the classroom. Sunita Biswas' workshops brought this research to life and facilitated in coming up with creative, practical ways of channeling these ideas into engaging with students.

It begins with an attempt at reading songs—their subject, lyrics, rhythm, and setting—to make sense of this fierce period of struggle. Next, looking at paintings—themes, colours, nature of depiction, the artist's background—as alternate sources of understanding this war. We then turned to collectible ephemera, with an emphasis on analysing posters and their place in driving the people to sustain this long struggle for their country. Finally, photographs as facets of memory of this historical moment, and their narrative about the suffering of the civilian population. This concluded with Shafia Afroz bringing to light perspectives from across the border, offering us a window into the pedagogy for the 1971 Liberation War, as taught in Dhaka.

The four parts of this resource corresponding with the respective sessions are:
  • 1971: Songs of Liberation
  • 1971: The Lasting Impact of Collectible Ephemera
  • Liberation War in Images: Photography
  • Liberation War in Images: Paintings

We encourage you to use this multimedia resource for some fascinating lesson ideas for your students, get creative and share with us what you come up with!
Latest from History for Peace
On Teaching History: Romila Thapar
Can thinking about the origins of the chair that you are sitting on lead you towards the history of caste in the country? Certainly and how!

Missed this immensely insightful talk on what the teaching of history signifies? An excellent resource to get a step closer in understanding the discipline from a historian who has made immense contribution in defining the path for historical thinking across the world. Now catch the video on our website!

Why is history important for all the teachers irrespective of their subject specialization? How does one approach the diverse sources and understand its credibility in the process of research and writing of history? How does one navigate through historical memory therein?

These are among the many critical questions that Professor Romila Thapar addresses in this talk that was presented by History for Peace as part of the B.Ed course offered by Delhi University.
A Teacher Who Thinks: Sundar Sarukkai

Missed this deeply relevant talk about the need for teachers to respond to the changing fundamental core of teaching and learning in the present day and age? Watch this on our website now!

The absolute proliferation of information in the digital world makes the role of the teacher far more important today. The teacher has to enable students to produce meaningful understanding of the surplus information, which becomes the central core of teaching that assumes greatest urgency.

This talk was Presented by History for Peace as part of the B.Ed course offered by Delhi University. Here, Sundar Sarukkai explores the critical question of how students can be taught to think within a classroom, therefore the emphasis on the need to move beyond transmission of knowledge, which teaching has been reduced to in the present day and age.
Vrinda Bhatia, Joyeeta Dey, Sayan Chaudhuri
With the aim to re-imagine education as empowering and transformative for all, Aaina is a space that seeks to build critical literacy within the teaching and learning community to address the questions plaguing society to this day.

‘Aaina is an initiative to help encourage reflection on educational experience among students, educators, and anyone engaged with the question of education. Through Aaina, we want to share resources to build critical literacy--to understand how learning is linked to questions of society, history, and culture. Currently, we create content on social media platforms, primarily Instagram, to share research-based perspectives on education and document the experiences of students and teachers. We aim to build conversations on how we can re-imagine education as empowering and transformative for all, not just a privileged few. The Aaina team includes Vrinda Bhatia, a linguistics researcher based out of Delhi, Joyeeta Dey, a sociology of education researcher currently working as project associate at the University of Melbourne, and Sayan Chaudhuri, writing faculty at the Young India Fellowship, Ashoka University. Teesta Nayak, our illustrator, is an EFL teacher based out of Vietnam.

—Joyeeta Dey
To read more about this project and access their Instagram page, click on the button below.
This & That
Museums and art galleries make conscious decisions about how they would narrate a period in history. What do these spaces choose to remember and choose to forget in how they present the past? How does memory then respond to those facets of history? Particularly in a place like Britain which has to constantly navigate its discourse around its colonial past that appears to be so intimately linked with the everyday, how do these spaces grapple with the difficult realities?

Here is a brilliant resource we found as we were thinking about these questions—The Exhibitionist, by Alice Procter. Her uncomfortable art tours run across the National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, British Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, Tate Britain and the Queen’s House (National Maritime Museum), and the project has a fascinating collection of podcasts too!

Click on the button below to visit their website.

If the historian in you is eager to explore a diverse range of sources and juxtapose historiography from different schools of historians before arriving at the narrativization for yourself, here is a valuable resource from a student's perspective which is also equally excited to hear your voice!

‘I felt uninspired and restricted by the syllabi prescribed by my Board. In any further research of my own such as projects or essays I found myself seeking primary sources. Moreover, I wished to entertain other points of view, besides the nationalist historians suggested by the syllabus and juxtapose them against each other. Hence, I compiled all my research and notes I had collected on this website. Amounting to about 43,000 words, the research provides my extended research on primarily ISC Indian History material featuring primary sources, books, journals, articles etc. linked alongside my research. 

I keep the nature of this site dynamic hoping to update it anytime I discover new and pertinent information on the mentioned topics. Furthermore I am happy to receive new material read and discovered by visitors to the site, keeping the site growing and my historia peaked.

—Mayukhi Ghosh [Class XII, Modern High School, Kolkata], Indian History Notes

If you have been wondering how you could enable your students to make better sense of the past pandemic year that has been difficult in multiple ways, and equip them to look forward to what is to come ahead, here is an excellent resource for you that has brought together a bunch of insightful and exciting activities for students across ages to do just this!

‘Was this school year “The Bestest, Most Funnest and Absolutely Wonderfulest School Year Ever” or “The Baddest, Most Awfulest, Absolutely Worstest School Year Ever?” Fourth graders at Nebo Elementary School in North Carolina are still deciding, says their reading teacher, Lori Brenneise.

Click on the button below to view their complete text.